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High Prevalence of Mansonella perstans Filariasis in Rural Senegal

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  • Unité de Recherche sur les Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales Emergentes (URMITE), Aix Marseille Université, Marseille, France, and Campus Universitaire UCAD-IRD de Hann, Dakar, Senegal; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom; Ministry of Health, Fann Résidence, Rue Aimé Césaire, Dakar, Senegal

Large parts of African and American countries are colonized by Mansonella, a very common but poorly described filarial nematode. Bloodsucking flies of the genus Culicoides are suspected to be the vector of Mansonella perstans, but no study in Senegal has confirmed that Culicoides can transmit the parasite. Designed specific real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) can be used to identify microfilaria in stained blood smears. This study was performed in July and December 2010 in the southeastern Senegal, which is known to be endemic for M. perstans. We analyzed 297 blood smears from febrile and afebrile resident people by qPCR. The global prevalence of M. perstans was approximately 14.5% in both febrile and afebrile individuals. The age group of > 30 years had the highest prevalence (22.0%). No Culicoides among 1,159 studied specimens was positive for M. perstans and its vector in Senegal still requires identification.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Oleg Mediannikov, Campus Universitaire UCAD-IRD, Route des Pères Maristes, BP 1386 CP 18524 Hann, Dakar, Senegal. E-mail: oleg.mediannikov@ird.fr

Financial support: This work was financially supported by Agence National de Recherche grant 2010 (MALEMAF) and the IHU Méditerranée Infection.

Authors' addresses: Hubert Bassene, Masse Sambou, Sawdiatou Djiba, and Oleg Mediannikov, Campus Universitaire UCAD-IRD de Hann, Route des Pères Maristes, Dakar, Senegal, E-mails: hubert.bassene@ird.fr, masse.sambou@ird.fr, sawdiadjiba@yahoo.fr, and olegusss1@gmail.com. Florence Fenollar, Gaël Mourembou, and Didier Raoult, Faculté de Médecine, Aix Marseille Université, Marseille, France, E-mails: florence.fenollar@univ-amu.fr, gaelmourembou@yahoo.fr, and didier.raoult@gmail.com. Siân Clarke, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom, E-mail: sian.clarke@lshtm.ac.uk. Alioune Badara L. Y., Ministry of Health, Fann Résidence, Rue Aimé Césaire Dakar, Senegal, E-mail: alioune_lyb@yahoo.fr.

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